April 22, 2009

The constraining effects of information privatization: Google’s purchase and shutdown of Paper of Record

From today’s Inside Higher Ed, “Digital Archives That Disappear,” a brief article about Google’s shutdown of the historical newspaper archive Paper of Record, which it secretly purchased in 2006.

This is a good example of what many people have feared about Google’s success – that turning over information resources from shared, public control in library-related settings to the private, for-profit sector we would begin to see public access constrained.

Google has restored access to Paper of Record temporarily, but, being who they are it would be foolish not to assume that they will be spending the time figuring out how to effectively monetize the resource to make back their investment. Historians will have to pay for access to the resources that they need, in a case where the resources in question had already been paid for and were publicly accessible.


  1. Kramer auto Pingback[…] newsletter. Also, folks from LibraryJuice, librarian.net and Inside Higher Ed noticed when Google removed a bunch of previously free content. The Columbia Spectator and the CHE noticed that archiving personal papers of creative […]

    Pingback by Confessions of a Curator: Google Reader Roundup — April 28, 2009 @ 6:49 pm

  2. If Google “has restored access to Paper of Record temporarily”, I’d love to know where.

    Comment by Alison Bell — May 13, 2009 @ 12:47 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. | TrackBack URI
You can also bookmark this on del.icio.us or check the cosmos

Leave a comment

XHTML ( You can use these tags): <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> .